Contrary to Maxey, I am higher than most on the former five-star power forward recruit and Washington freshman star Jaden McDaniels. This 6-foot-9 and 200 pound lanky big man has the necessary shooting mechanics and footwork that it will take to reach the pinnacle of a star at his position at the next level.
Drafting McDaniels should come with an heir of caution, though, as he has an extremely high ceiling but also a very low floor.
Likely considered to be one of the safer picks projected to go at the back end of the draft lottery is the Arizona freshman shooting guard and yet another former five-star recruit, Nico Mannion. The former McDonald’s All-American did have a solid freshman campaign in Tucson by averaging 14.0 points per game, 2.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
The distributing ability is there with Mannion and so is the shot creation, but he has to get more consistent on defense and shooting from beyond the arc.
My pick to be one of the ultimate late risers around the time that the scouting combine takes place is the Kansas sophomore 6-foot-5 shooting guard Ochai Agbaji. Averaging 10.0 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, while shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from downtown really isn’t anything special.
But the physical tools and defensive ability that Agbaji brings to the table is something that will be hard to match by any other shooting guard/wing in this draft class. He also got buried in the pecking order of offensive usage in the plethora of talent that head coach Bill Self had at his disposal in Lawrence this year.